Guest Post: Chic Melbourne serves you up the good stuff

Melbourne - what a beautiful city

melbourne, australia

( Please welcome my Aussie mate Dave to this weeks pool of guest posters. A serious food lover, fantastic photographer and excellent writer ).

You don’t know me. My name is David and I am a friend of the famous and ever delightful Craven Maven. This is my first guest post for her, so I’d better give you the down low on myself before I waffle away.

I live in Melbourne, Australia. I love to travel, biking, photography, writing and cooking. I am also the guy who offers the last tasty morsel at a dinner party, but deep inside hopes that the other person will say “No thanks” so I can eat it myself (just being honest).

I met the Craven Maven through mutual friends in NYC in 2009. We quickly found that we both had a real love of all things tasty and creative.

Though I was born and bred in Australia, my decendancy has roots in Mauritius, Seychelles and Eastern Europe with a little German and French thrown in the mix. You can only imagine the culinary delights spread out on the table when the extended family gathered together. Add Melbourne’s melting pot of cultures, sports obsession and style and you find the source of my creative fascinations.

With this in mind, I thought it appropriate to give you a brief run down on my city as a gastronomical travel destination.

Melbourne is fashionable, eclectic and eccentric. It’s a multicultural city gifted with more than just a sampling of the world’s great cuisines. It is flooded with high quality cafes and restaurants, so you’re always guaranteed to find something appealing to your palate. In fact, there are more restaurants in Melbourne than days of the year!

Chinatown and New Quay
chinatown (top), new quay, (bottom)

If you travel a little out of the city you can further explore the variety of Melbourne’s specialist eating destinations. Richmond offers cheap and cheerful Vietnamese dishes, Lygon Street serves up Italian classics, Fitzroy is where you go for tantalising Spanish tapas and Indian, Chinatown prepares tasty dumplings, and New Quay‘s offers fusion cuisine by the water.

Little creatures and spice market
little creatures, (top and middle images), spice market (bottom)

“Coffee anyone?” Drinking coffee is more than a ritual for Melbournians. Rooted in European heritage, cafes line the cobblestone laneways, filling with air with the aroma of roasting coffee beans. You can also people watch in the lively laneway cafés and bars, handpick a bottle wine at the latest über-chic hangout like Spice Market or enjoy tea in the calm and rustic surroundings of a nineteenth-century hotel. If a more casual affair is to your liking, you can sink a few beers with friends, listen to live music or play some pool in one of Melbourne’s pubs like Little Creatures.

Koko Black
Koko Black’s sweet treats

For the sweet tooth, you can’t pass on KokoBlack. Watch the chocolatiers as they work with couverture to create an array of decadent creations, from hand-crafted chocolates to jewel coloured lollies. Alternatively sink your teeth into some gelato or a delightful pastry from Brunetti‘s.

Here are some of my favourite hot spots:

Gingerboy and emerald peacock
ginger boy (top), emerald peacock (bottom)

Gingerboy – Singaporean, Cantonese and Thai cuisine served in a darkly sexy and very cool environment
Brunetti – A truly authentic roman pasticceria
Emerald Peacock – A retro dining, cocktail bar and sophisticated rooftop lounge

Movida and meccah
moVida (top), meccah bar (bottom)

KokoBlack – An intense chocolate expereince
MoVida – Tapas and wine bar
Meccah Bar – Stylish Middle Eastern cuisine

As you can see, with all these options, it can be hard to make a choice. If you find yourself in Oz, come and experience Melbourne. You won’t be disapointed.

In the future I plan to share reflections on food and travel that will leave you salivating and ready to pack your bags. So until next time, bon apetit and hooroo (Australian for goodbye).

all images via establishments listed

cm note: This is great stuff! It makes me want to do a gastro-tour of melbourne!

See what fuels Etsy T-T-T-Tuesday

Etsy Favourites

I love etsy really I do. It’s such a great venue for crafters from all over the world to sell their wares to the public on a grand scale. There are many blogs that write etsy inspired posts from time to time and if you are a regular of this blog you will be aware of my ‘Etsy T-T-T-Tuesday‘ write up that hits on..well Tuesdays!

The items in those posts come from a very long list of ‘favourite shops’ I have bookmarked. Twice a week or so, I look to see what they have on offer, and also check etsy’s front page for any new and exciting featured stores. I realised recently that you can browse the store favourites of any etsy user (duh!), so check it out! My list of favourite stores on etsy. For the most part, they are vintage housewares, artists or food and condiment stores which hail from all over the globe – a cornucopia of craven treats! Enjoy browsing!!

screengrab from etsy

Guest post: Rockaway Taco

Rockaway Taco

(Today’s guest post is by Sherry, from one of my favourite blogs Pork&Chocolate. She also occasionally writes foodie based posts for the dwellstudio blog.)

Summer has arrived, and for me that means days at the beach followed by a stop at Rockaway Taco. The local hotspot, their fish tacos are a perfect after-beach snack – light and tasty.

Fish Taco

The fish has a great crispy coating and is topped with creamy guacamole, shredded cabbage, radishes and cilantro.

Spicy Cucumbers

I also love the spicy cucumbers, sliced up and topped with chili flakes and lime – both hot and cool at the same time.

Mint Limeade

The mint limeade is so refreshing after a day in the sun, and a great balance to the spicy cucumbers. Can’t wait for the next beach day!

all images by sherry

Cute enough to eat…

Book Star Olivia

My little poppet!! My best friends lovely little girl loves going to Giraffe with her mum and dad. Who can blame her?? They make a yummy breakfast that I highly recommend you check out when in London.

I was so chuffed to hear that lovely little Olivia’s smile will grace the pages of the first ever Giraffe recipe book due out later this year! The above picture breezed past thousands of other entries to win the coveted spot.

Keep your eyes peeled for The Giraffe Family Cookbook, due out in October!! Congrats Olivia!!

image by stephen

Note: I am away this week, but keep your eyes on the blog for some interesting and exciting guest posts!

Ten year old Cup o’ Noodles??

Cup Noodles time can

There are many things you come across in life. This, was not one I expected. A ten year old Cup Noodle ‘time can’?? I kid you not – while I am dubious of food that ‘lasts’ more than a few weeks, (or less depending on what it is), this time can does turn my stomach somewhat. At some point this thing stopped being food and went straight to being just a ‘chemical’, i’m certain of it.

You have to read the blow by blow and follow the pictures on Jarrett’s blog. Sure you will lose 5 minutes of your life reading it. But hey, it’s one of those things you can file under life’s ‘what the what??’.

image via jarretts blog

Note: I am away this week, but keep your eyes on the blog for some interesting and exciting guest posts!

A little something for the weekend..

Tequila Lemonade by Chuck

I’m so annoyed right now. My favourite Cooking Channel chef and personality, Chuck Hughes, is but a couple miles away from me doing a promo ice cream event with the public and my day and week has been so snowed under I cannot go. Of ALL weekends to do this Cooking Channel you pick the ONE when I am going away! grr.

Hopefully there will be other opportunities. In the meantime Maybe you can enjoy the Tequila Lemonade recipe from the show ‘Chuck’s day off’. It uses Meyer Lemons and I am simply dying to take a crack at it! The recipe can be found here, but I am posting it below for your reference.

Chuck Hughes
Tequila Lemonade on Chuck’s Day off


* Ice cubes, (about 2 cups)
* 8 Meyer lemons
* Dash sugar cane syrup or simple syrup
* 4 sprigs fresh peppermint, leaves torn
* 1 lemon, sliced into wheels
* 4 ounces Tequila

* Dash of soda water or seltzer
* 2 vanilla beans, for garnish


Into a pitcher, put about 2 scoops of ice cubes. Squeeze in the juice of 8 Meyer lemons or 8 regular lemons in a pinch! Add several dashes of sugar cane syrup. Add the leaves of 2 fresh mint sprigs, torn into pieces. Add a few lemon wheels for garnish. Add 4 ounces of Tequila and give it a stir. Place in the refrigerator to chill.

When serving, put the ice in tall glasses, and pour the Tequila Lemonade over the top. Top up with a splash of fizzy soda water. Garnish each glass with a wheel of lemon, a vanilla bean, a sprig of mint, and a paper umbrella.

Thats’ it! Have a good weekend everyone – I will be away next week but never fear – I have a few guest writers who have submitted some great foodie based articles for you to read on this here blog next week!!

Image via cooking channel

Chilled out music for the kitchen

Music Playlist at

Your food is only as good as the music you listen to while making enjoy this chilled out mix when you make whatever treats you are planning to make this weekend!

thanks to coquette and dove for the idea of using mixpod!